Kerala is situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of south-western India. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this gorgeous Indian state. Kerala is blessed with a rich history that spans centuries and a host of different cultures. Just as impressive, it boasts a coastline characterized by long stretches of white-sand beaches rimmed by coconut plantations. Now wonder how would it be, going on a bike ride in Kerala? No imagination can meet up the real beauty of bike trips along such marvels of nature. Now here’s a few suggestions to roll on two-wheels, taking you to the best places for bike rides in Kerala.
Best Destinations to go on a Bike Ride in Kerala
Wayanad – Spice Garden of South
Starting with my personal favourite, Wayanad lies in between the mountains of the Western Ghats. Popularly known as the ‘spice garden of South’, this green paradise is a heaven to eyes. The weather here is always smoothing, making it a perfect getaway spot. Set up between the mountains, Wayanad is a trekker’s delight. This place covers a variety of interests and attractions, from waterfalls to mountain biking. All this together sums for one of the perfect Kerala bike trips. Let’s dig deeper and explore some attractions in and near Wayanad.
Chembra Peak in Wayanad lures the nature lovers, offering a breathtaking view and a heart-shaped lake to spend time with your loved ones. It’s just a 35 kms ride from the green paradise. It offers exciting trekking activities attracting adventure enthusiasts. It takes almost 3 hours to reach the top point and enjoy the view the trail has got to offer. Climbing this peak would test your physical prowess. It’s an altogether refreshing experience heading to this peak.
Meenmutty waterfalls offers a spectacular view to its three-stage falls dropping from about 300 metres. It can be reached via a 2 km trekking route which falls on the main road connecting Ooty and Wayanad. Not to miss, it is the largest waterfall in the Wayanad district.
Priyadarshini Tea Environs
Priyadarshini Tea Environs located at Pancharakolly is set at an altitude of 3000 ft. and is one such place in Kerala where you can enjoy mountain biking through the thick and thin roads. Lastly, don’t miss out on exploring the villages of Wayanad. The experience ranges from enjoying native cuisines to the making of local tribal drumming instruments and handicrafts.
Athirapally Waterfalls – Niagara of India
Situated in Athirapally of Thrissur district, Athirapally Waterfalls is the largest falls in Kerala. Also known as ‘Niagara of India’, it finds its origin in the upper reaches of Western Ghats. The lush green forests surrounding the falls are now home grounds to myriads of endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna. Asiatic Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Bison, Lion-tailed Macaque, are few of the varieties of species that coexist in this picturesque forest.
Owing to the scenic beauty, Athirapally is one of the favourite locations of filmmakers. For tourists there’s a view stand made especially to enjoy the waterfall view. For those who’re energetic, adventure enthusiasts I personally recommend trekking all the way down to relish the mist of waterfalls. It’s an impeccable place to visit in Kerala on a bike while reliving nature’s beauty.
Vagamon – Scotland of Asia
Vagamon is a hill station in central Travancore, Katya district. Termed as ‘Scotland of Asia’, Vagamon at 1200 metres above sea level is a perfect summer holiday destination as the temperature is always cool and pleasant. The cool climate and luscious scenery complement each other perfectly.The pine forest, 4 kms away from Vagamon is the abode of photographers. The pine trees growing over the slopes of hills in large acres of land is a sight unlike any other. As a fact, the pulp of pine trees are used in making currency notes.
Vagamon thus is one of the lesser-known gems among the outsiders. Riding to this place is relishing and refreshing. I suggest visiting this place during the late September as that Is when the cool winters starts kicking in, making it the best bike ride spot in Kerala.
Valparai – Paradise of riders
Valparai, known as ‘paradise of riders’ in the biking community, is popular for the beautiful roads and scenic beauty it offers. If you want to ride through a road flanked by thick vegetation on either side, the Athirapally-Valparai route is just right on the spot. Nicely tarred roads, lush greenery, the anticipation of meeting wildlife at any turn, enchanting tea estates, rare tree species like Spathodea, etc., all makes riding to Valparai a biker’s paradise in real life.
November-December sets as ideal months for travelers as these months provide an ideal, smoothing climate to ride through. That’s not all, Valparai is home to various attractions to head to for amazing eye-treats. Here are two places nearby which I would personally recommend to experience.
Tea Estate Garden
Tea Estate Garden in Valparai, not only makes a wonderful tourist attraction list but is also an important aspect of the area’s economy. There are many Tea Estate Bungalows around to help you with accommodation. The whole experience is unique as living with the locals, interacting with them and learning about the whole process of making tea, our morning mandatory, makes this place as one of the best places to go on a bike trip in Kerala.
Monkey falls is something you should not miss on as it’s one of the most exciting Valparai attractions. It’s a natural waterfall located approximately 30 kms from Pollachi and at a mere 6 kms distance from the Azhiyar Dam. What makes this place exciting enough is the picturesque view that it has got to offer and the cool and calm weather all-round the year.
Munnar – Kashmir of South India
Munnar, Kerala’s own Kashmir is a hill station at 5200 ft. above sea level. The mountains of Munnar extend itself to the Western Ghats. The name Munnar translates to three rivers referring to its location at the confluence of the Mudhirapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly rivers.
Most of the native flora and fauna has significantly disappeared due to the creation of plantations and deforestation. Several endemic and threatened species like the Nilgiri Tahr, the grizzled giant Squirrel, the Nilgiri wood Pigeon, Elephant, the Nilgiri Languor and the Neelakurinji, which flowers once in 12 years, are protected in the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Is that all in Munnar? A big No! Let me take you on a ride to a few of the stunning attractions/places in Munnar itself.
Mattupetty Dam is one of the major tourist attractions in Munnar. This water reservoir in Idukki district is located at a distance of 13 kms from the Kashmir of South India. Tucked away amidst towering hills and mountains, this dam serves as a main source of hydroelectricity in the region. An exotic range of flora and fauna thrives around it. If luck favours, you can easily spot Asiatic Elephants visiting the dam-site in search of food and water. Mattupetty Dam serves as a delightful place for birdwatching too.
The echo point comes under one of the stunning places to visit in Munnar or even in Kerala as whole. Located around 15 kms away from the hill station, it is also known as one of the most mystical places in Munnar. Apart from the alluring beauty of the place,a natural phenomenon of echo formation is yet another hallmark of this spot.This place will surely hold you captive with its charm and the view it has got to offer. Note, do not forget to shout out and hear it back.
Meesapulimala, a splendid gift of the mighty Western Ghats, boasts of being the second highest peak in Southern India. Standing tall at 8661 ft. above sea level, this peak is right in between the Anamalai Hills and is 20 kms away from Munnar. A not-to-miss tourist place to visit in Kerala, It is a fact that the peak looks like a moustache and is often packed by trekkers and adventure seekers. It offers an 8 kms trekking trail which starts from the beautiful Rhodovalley, offering the trekkers to pass through its remarkable patches.
There’s a lot more to Munnar but writing everything down here would make this blog never ending. Out of all my travel experiences, a bike ride in Munnar has been the best till date.
Varkala – The Pearl of the Arabian Sea
Varkala, a calm and peaceful homestead, lies on the outskirts of Trivandrum district. A beautiful beach, a 2000 year old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam-Sivagiri Mutt are a few tourist attractions at a little distance from the Varkala beach. Janardhanaswamy Temple, one of the pilgrim spots in varkala a 2000 years ancient shrine stands on top of a tableland looking at the beach situated a short distance away.
The Varkala beach is popularly also known as Papanasam Beach, resting 10 kms away from Varkala, is famed for a natural spring, regarded as medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins. Now you understand why the name ‘Papanasam’?
Varkala offers many accommodation options for tourists and is growing to be a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic practices in and around. Do carry your “beach essentials” to enjoy the evening while chilling on a shack.
Here’s a complete gist of my experience riding and exploring in Kerala. But there’s one thing I cannot miss out on. All this wouldn’t have been possible without the seamless bike renting option from Royal Brothers. My friend from Bengaluru introduced me to this beautiful organization which stands for its words of making mobility accessible to all. I rented a Royal Enfield Himalayan from Calicut and I was able to have my dream bike trip In Kerala. I really recommend renting from RB if you don’t have a bike but love riding.